Brazil failure to protect indigenous lands causes one more death in the Amazon 

November 2, 2019

Hivos and Greenpeace condemn violence against Indigenous Peoples and stand in solidarity with the Guajajara people in the face of the murder of Guardian Paulo Paulino Guajajara.

The Indigenous Forest Guardian Paulo Paulino Guajajara was shot dead this Friday (1st November) in an ambush by loggers inside the Araribóia Indigenous Land, in the Amazon state of Maranhão. According to information obtained so far, another Forest Guardian, Laércio Guajajara, was also shot during the crossfire and a logger was reportedly killed.

Faced with the failure of the Brazilian state to effectively protect the Indigenous lands, the Indigenous “Forest Guardians” have assumed this role for themselves, and all the risks associated with it.

Invaded by land grabbers and loggers, the Indigenous lands in Maranhão have been the scene of an asymmetrical struggle, where small groups of Indigenous Guardians risk their lives to defend the integrity of their home.

Paulino and Laercio are the most recent victims of a state that refuses to comply with its constitutional duty to protect the Indigenous People and territories.

We condemn all violence resulted by the state’s inability to fulfil its duty to protect this and all other Indigenous territories in Brazil and demand the government to take immediate action to prevent further violence and death in the region.

We sympathize with the brave Guajajara warriors of the Arariboia Indigenous Land and the Forest Guardians in Maranhão and throughout Brazil who continue to fight daily for the right to exist.

Paulo Paulinho Guajajara, photo: Media India